Carmelo Anthony is out in Houston. Whether the Rockets’ slow start is his fault or not, it has become clear Houston is parting ways with its veteran forward just 10 games into his tenure with the team.
Now, one of the league’s most heralded scorers is searching for his next NBA home, but it’s clear he’s not the same scorer who won three Olympic gold medals and a league scoring title in 2013. And while his offense has regressed, the other areas of his game have become nearly non-existent.
Still, Anthony could be a serviceable player on the right team, maybe. Does that situation exist? That’s the question that needs an answer.
Anthony had an unceremonious end in New York when his iso-heavy, ball-stopping tendencies stifled the Knick offense. He didn’t fit in offensively next to Russell Westbrook and Paul George, and the Rockets could not find a fit for him in their high-powered offense. The NBA can be a three-strikes-and-you’re-out league, but Melo is reportedly working with the NBA to find a new home.
There are a few teams that make sense for him to reach out to.
Los Angeles Lakers
Playing with LeBron James makes everybody better right? Let’s put that to the test. Send Melo to the Lakers and bring him off the bench to score for the second unit.
Don’t expect it to happen, though.
Golden State Warriors
Because why not? Just add Melo to the fray and watch the thing blow up — on the way to the first championship of his career.
Is a homecoming in the works for one of Brooklyn’s brightest stars? Anthony was raised in Baltimore, but make no mistake, he was born in Brooklyn. It’s why he helped refurbish basketball courts in Red Hook and came back to the borough to promote the Brooklyn-Queens Connector: a potential streetcar system that could serve as an additional form of transportation in the next decade.
The Nets suffered a major setback this season when budding star Caris LeVert was stretchered off the court after dislocating his foot in a game against the Timberwolves. Anthony’s basketball talents might not draw the same crowd, but his Brooklyn roots are undeniable. He also immediately becomes the most talented scorer in Kenny Atkinson’s creative Nets offense.
Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum actively recruited Carmelo Anthony when he was looking for a way out of New York during the Phil Jackson era. Anthony could now be best described as an inside-out post-up threat: a discount LaMarcus Aldridge if you will. Terry Stotts made Aldridge look like Dirk Nowitzki. Can he make Anthony look like LaMarcus Aldridge?
Blazer’s Edge had a one-word emphatic answer, though: no.
The Wizards have problems of their own, plus they already have Markieff Morris, someone who scores in a similar fashion as Carmelo Anthony, better than Carmelo Anthony. Melo to the Wizards could give them some depth at the forward slot.
John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard sounds like a dream team if I’ve ever seen one. It also sounds like an experiment that could go terribly wrong terribly fast.
Utah has gotten off to a slow start. After last season’s offensive surge, they’ve gone cold. The Jazz have a dominant rim protector and enough versatile defenders to help Anthony on defense if he’s on the floor. If Quin Snyder can mix up Anthony’s possessions on the post and isolating on the wing, he may be able to revive some of what we saw in Denver.
The Heat make the most sense out of all of these teams. They’re a club that could use that type of scoring power on the perimeter, and Melo is a bona fide bucket-getter. Miami has the best conditioning team on the planet, and they’re home to one of his best friends in the league, Dwyane Wade.
The Heat are also a defensive team with a dominant rebounder in Hassan Whiteside: their strengths compensate for Anthony’s biggest weaknesses.
Erik Spoelstra is a coach who can fit Melo into his scheme and craft different opportunities for him all over the court. If it doesn’t work in Miami, it won’t work anywhere.
Anthony’s tenure in Houston might be over, but it doesn’t mean his career as an NBA player is. What’s clear is if he doesn’t adjust to being a role player fast, wherever he stops next will be his last. It’s been one of the quickest falls from grace we’ve ever seen from a star of his caliber.
Still, the right next stop could be a revival.
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